White Canvases: Six Painters Respond to Suzanne Swannie

Opening Reception
Saturday January 24, 2015 - 2pm to 4pm

Organized and circulated by Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax
Curator: Robin Metcalfe

Suzanne Swannie is a Danish-born weaver and textiles designer who immigrated to Canada in 1967. She has lived, worked and taught in Corner Brook and St John’s, Newfoundland and in Halifax, where she received her Masters of Fine Art in 1986 from NSCAD University (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. In 2014 she moved back to Denmark.

Formed within the textiles tradition of Danish and Scandinavian Modernism, Swannie has challenged prevailing art historical assumptions that often relegate fibre to the category of craft: separate from, or at best incidental to, the intellectual history of visual art. With White Canvases, Swannie returns to an ongoing conversation, both challenging and affectionate, with the medium of painting.

For White Canvases, Swannie wove six pairs of square, off-white canvases in a fine Swedish linen yarn, corresponding to six painters with whom she has a personal and professional connection. Each pair of canvases is identical, incorporating a subtle visual motif – “some textural little message” – woven into its structure, one personalised to each of the recipient artists and reflecting aspects of their work as painters or of their relationships with Swannie. Giving one of the canvases to the artist in question, she has invited them to use it as a functional painting canvas.

White Canvases presents these six pairs of canvases: the one that have remained as Swannie wove them, and the ones to which the collaborating artists – Lorène Bourgeois, Eric Cameron, Garry Neill Kennedy, Richard Mueller, Ron Shuebrook and Charlotte Wilson-Hammond – have contributed an intervention within the parameters of their own artistic practice.

Regular Hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. Admission is by Donation.

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